Rooms of my Heart

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In the rooms of my heart the windows never close.

I watch the swelling of the curtains as memories old and new blow through.

My room of pain is deep within.

Layer upon layer of paint conceal the hurt that lies beneath.

There is a closet of white clothes.

Sometimes I see the crisp white fabric and sometimes all I see are stains.

Down the hall is a room with only darkness.

I try to light a candle, but there’s a force that blows it out.

The room is cold and I feel the chills of life run up and down my spine.

I never stay long there…

I rush into my room of things I love.

It is filled with my kids laughter and my husband’s embrace.

I also have my room of peace.

A worn comfy chair, a warm blanket, and a book await me there.

I stare out the window, I listen to the rain fall, and I pray.

There are many other rooms in my heart.

Some are locked and some are hidden.

Some have walls knocked down and others are under construction…

Oh, but I must not forget to mention my favorite room.

It is my room of forgiveness.

This room is covered by the blood of the Lamb.

It peels away the layers of paint and washes away my stains.

It gives me light in the darkness and warms my soul.

This, my dear, is the room of all rooms.

The Light in the Darkness

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Last night my nephew stayed the night.  We let the boys stay up a bit past their bedtimes so we can catch lightening bugs.  As they were running around, I realized it had been a while since I had been outside in the dark. With young kids we cling to the light––we close up shop for the day. Oh my, it was a beautiful night and I was in awe of the dark cloudy sky. A much needed light glimmered through and around me.

I walked around our yard and watched the boys.  I remembered the joys of my own childhood. I pictured my young self standing still and waiting for the small flickering of light. I felt the sneaking up, the holding up of one palm, and then the taking of the other hand to quickly trap the lightening bug. My favorite part was the release. Sometimes they would immediately fly off and other times they would linger for a few seconds.  I would not move until I once again saw their flickering of light in the darkness. Then I was off to find the next flickering of light. I never had any doubt that I would find another.

I began to think of the pain in this world, of the darkness the pain brings. The sun always goes down and the darkness always finds its way. My natural instinct as a parent is to wrap my arms around my kids and pull them close to me.  I want to cover their eyes and shield them from the darkness of this world. I love my children and want to protect them. I can’t though.

Instead of always trying to shield them, I need to show them how to stand in the darkness by always looking to God. One day they will have to stand in the darkness and I will not be able to shield them. I will not be able to shield them. (I have to say it once more.) I will not be able to shield them. What I can do is continue to equip them by:

  • Teaching them the Word.
  • Praying with them
  • Praying for them.
  • Leading by example.  
  • Pointing out the light in the darkness, even if it is just a flicker.  
  • Being their light when I can.
  • Allowing them to be my light when they can.  
  • Trusting God and God’s path for them.
  • Praising, loving, and striving to be more like Christ with them…the only unwavering light in this dark world.

 

The ripples we cause.

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Yesterday my boys were arguing, which has become the new norm here. “Life would be much easier if everyone did things just the way I prefer” mentality has been running rampant in this house. Lecturing hasn’t worked and even discipline has been pretty ineffective.

So, I was desperate…

We were at a park and decided to walk by the water and then go on the trails. I thought maybe the water would have a calming effect on them like it does me. I glanced down and saw some gravel.  I had a silly idea and decided to go with it.

“Hey boys, pick up some rocks and let’s go by the water for a minute.”

They happily picked up as many as their hands could hold.  We knelt down by the water and I took a deep breath.  I explained to them how our words and our actions have the ability to impact others.  I told them to watch as I threw a rock in.  “See the ripples? Now take one rock and pretend it is a mean word or action.  Those ripples can impact a lot of people, can’t they?” Their eyes got big.  I was actually surprised it worked.  So I went on.

“Now, take another rock and pretend it is a nice word or action.  They cause ripples too!” Luke grabbed a rock and said, “This is an I love you rock.”  He watched the ripples.  Oliver did the same. They practiced other nice words and actions and we talked about the impact each could cause.

Today when they got into another argument, all I had to say was, “What kind of ripples are you causing?”

Next time we go to the park I’m sure they will want to throw more rocks in the water.  I pray it becomes a thing and they will be reminded each time they see water. Maybe even one day they will have the same moment with their own kids.  I can almost hear their grown up voices saying to their children, “What kind of ripples are you causing?”

Overgrown Grass

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One of my favorite things to do is look at pictures. My fondest memory consists of sitting on the floor at my great grandma’s house and going through photo albums. It was what I looked forward to the most when we went for a visit.  I loved the stories that went along with each picture. More though, I loved that the pictures themselves said more than what the spoken stories told.

I happen to like taking pictures as well. I am no photographer, but, there is something that happens to me when I am behind the camera: I feel inspired and I feel as though I become part of something larger than ordinary life. Maybe I should take some courses to improve my skills, or maybe I should just continue not thinking and just snap away not worrying about the result.

I do not remember where this particular photo was taken or why I even decided to take the shot. I see nothing except overgrown grass and darkness.  I wonder what my thoughts were at the time.  I wonder why I was standing in the midst of overgrown grass. Was I trying to take a picture of something that merely was hidden in the darkness past the power of my lens’ ability?

Funny how often in life beyond the camera I do the same. I get caught up in trying to see into the darkness––instead of focusing on the overgrown grass I am in the midst of…

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

~Matthew 6:34